Baseball Sectional Preview

Chargers ready for test with No. 2 ranked Panthers

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Just a few weeks ago North Montgomery was riding high on the baseball diamond. The Chargers were having success and were sitting atop the Sagamore Athletic Conference. Then, a not so funny thing happened the last few weeks of the season. Presently the Chargers have only won three games out of the last six, and now they are hoping to quickly right the ship before Wednesday’s sectional matchup against a very talented Western of Howard County High School team.

For the first time the Chargers are competing in the 3A Northwestern Sectional. Other teams involved are Frankfort, Twin Lakes, West Lafayette Western and the host school.  All the teams have winning records except West Lafayette and Lebanon which are both .500. 

Charger coach Matt Voorhees said he still believes in his team and that they have a shot of bringing home the sectional championship. He also knows, his team needs to find the early season vibes of success that has eluded them recently. 

“The sectional will be highly competitive as it is laced with several talented teams,” Voorhees said. “We are excited to compete against quality teams.’

The Chargers will be thrown into the fire in their 5 p.m. Wednesday game against No. 2 3A Western (19-4). Western has two pitchers that have signed to play Division 1 baseball next year. 

Even though Voorhees knows of the quality pitching his squad will face against Western he feels Charger ace Jarrod Kirsch will go head to head with the best Western can throw.

“I believe game one will be a low scoring,” Voorhees said. “While I don’t doubt the Western pitchers’ talent, I do know the capabilities of our pitching staff.”

Junior ace Jarrod Kirsch, has been the Chargers’ leader in pitching and hitting. His pitching record is 6-1 and has an ERA of 1.46. In 48 innings pitched the ace has 81 strikeouts.

Offensively Kirsch’s .384 batting average leads the team and runs scored with 24 and hits with 33.

The Chargers have five batters batting .300 or better. Senior catcher Dylan Braun is second in batting with a .353 average and second on the club with 30 hits and first in RBI’s with 25 RBI’s. Other top hitters are sophomore Cade Cole (.305), junior Roman Utterback (.328), and senior Brookes Walters (.333). 

One area that North Montgomery (16-12) excels in is on defense. The Chargers own a .945 fielding percentage. Voorhees said he has faith in his team’s defense.

“I like where we are defensively behind our pitchers,” Voorhees said. “We have been limiting our errors and not giving up many easy runs.”

Northwestern is near Kokomo and is nearly a two hour drive from North Montgomery. The players will be leaving for the game before school dismisses on Wednesday for the 5 p.m. game.

The winner betweent the Chargers and Panthers will take on the winner of Twin lakes and West Lafayette in the semi-finals on Thursday. On the opposite side of the bracket Northwestern and Frankfort both drew byes into the semi-finals.

The Chargers have a tall task ahead but have shown all season they won’t back down from a challenge.

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